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Fiorina renews lie about Planned Parenthood video

At a campaign event in South Carolina this afternoon, Carly Fiorna reportedly said: "They say I'm lying about a videotape, but it's there," referring to her claims at last week's Republican presidential primary debate about a graphic video involving Planned Parenthood, which she "dared" President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others to watch.

Following is a statement issued today from Eric Ferrero, Vice President for Communications at Planned Parenthood:

"There is no polite way to say this: Carly Fiorina is lying. There is no video showing anything like what she claims. It's just totally false, no matter how many times she repeats it.

"Everyone from Fox News to the Wall Street Journal has said that Carly Fiorina's claims are false and that this video footage doesn't exist. Caught in a lie, Carly Fiorina's campaign produced a fake video by splicing together five separate pieces of tape to concoct the video that she claimed existed."


Date: September 23, 2015

Re: Carly Fiorina creates fake video to support lies


First, Carly Fiorina flat-out lied about Planned Parenthood at the Republican presidential primary debate last week. She described, in vivid detail, a video that does not exist. Every part of what she said was simply untrue.

Then, called out on her lie by Planned Parenthood and virtually every fact-checker in the country, she doubled down and insisted the video exists — all evidence to the contrary.

Now, her campaign has actually created a fake video in an attempt to support her lies.

A one-minute video posted on Carly for America’s YouTube page and emailed to her supporters actually splices together video and audio from five separate places to try to concoct the video that she claimed existed.

Today, Planned Parenthood wrote to Fiorina to ask her again to stop making false claims about the organization’s work, to request that she take down the fake video her campaign created, and to invite her again to visit a Planned Parenthood health center and learn the truth about the range of high-quality health care services the organization provides to millions of people.

A quick recap: Carly Fiorina is lying about Planned Parenthood. At the debate, she said: “As regards Planned Parenthood, anyone who has watched this videotape, I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” That video simply does not exist. Everybody from the Wall Street Journal to Fox News has said the video she described does not exist.

Some quick context: In some ways, it’s easy to see how she thought she could get away with such a whopper. She was claiming this video was part of a much bigger smear campaign over the last couple of months, with heavily edited video footage of Planned Parenthood staff members. The videos and their claims have been widelydiscredited. And even those heavily edited videos don’t show Planned Parenthood staff engaged in wrongdoing — and they certainly don’t show what Fiorina described. But right-wing extremists have badgered and bullied media outlets into reporting on those videos as if they show Planned Parenthood “selling” fetal tissue or “haggling” about fetal tissue — when even the doctored videos show no such thing. In an environment where claims about Planned Parenthood are treated as facts, Carly Fiorina thought she could slip one in.

Which brings us to this video: Since there is nothing resembling what she claimed, Fiorina’s team went to work in the editing room. Here are the five different pieces they mashed up together for their one-minute video, produced after she was widely called out for lying:

  • A photo of a Pennsylvania woman’s stillborn son, which was used without her permission and falsely passed off as an aborted fetus in an earlier video by the discredited Center for Medical Progress (which is behind the fraudulent video campaign).

  • Video from the discredited Grantham Collection, an old anti-abortion archive based in Florida. The video is likely not even a fetus. The Grantham Collection has been called out in the past for posting photos alongside totally false claims about what they are (such as a photo of commonly used sponge tongs found in most hospitals, which the archive claimed were a tool used to tear babies’ limbs apart).

  • The audio from a video the Center for Medical Progress secretly recorded of a doctor in Colorado.

  • Video from a Center for Medical Progress interview with a woman who claims she used to work at an independent tissue research organization in California.

  • Audio from a phone conversation the Center for Medical Progress secretly recorded with a man who works at another independent health care organization in California.

In a letter sent to Fiorina today, Planned Parenthood Action Fund Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens wrote, “Simply put, the video you described at the debate does not exist, and the video you’re now asking people to watch is not what you claim it is.”

Below is a cut-by-cut breakdown of the fake video that Fiorina’s campaign created to try to back up her false claims about Planned Parenthood.   


Breakdown of Edits in Carly Fiorina ad

:00       Intro montage of media footage noting that the video Fiorina described at the debate does not exist

:15       image from debate

:16       Fiorina speaking at debate

:22       image from discredited Grantham Collection (which is likely not even a fetus, and is not at Planned Parenthood) with audio stripped and replaced with Fiorina voiceover from the debate

:30       Fiorina speaking at the debate

:34       same image from discredited Grantham Collection with audio stripped and replaced with voiceover from audio conversation with Novogenix Lab, taken from an unrelated Center for Medical Progress video       

:37       image of a stillborn (used without that family’s permission), taken from an unrelated Center for Medical Progress video with audio stripped and replaced with voiceover from a Planned Parenthood staff member,

      taken from another unrelated Center for Medical Progress video

:41       former Stem Express worker Holly O'Donnell being interviewed, taken from a Center for Medical Progress video

:45       Fiorina speaking at debate

:53       image from debate

Close: montage of marketing content

Below is the letter sent to Fiorina today from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

September 23, 015
Carly for President
1020 N Fairfax Street., Ste. 200
Alexandria, VA 22314

Via fax

Dear Ms. Fiorina:

For the last week, you have continued to make false and scurrilous claims about Planned Parenthood. You insist that a video exists showing graphic and disturbing images at Planned Parenthood. No such video exists — because no such events took place. You are repeating claims that have been discredited and debunked widely.  I am writing to ask you directly to stop making false and offensive claims about Planned Parenthood.

I am also writing to ask you to take down a video created and posted by your campaign that is intended to support your accusations — but actually just underscores how deceptive and dishonest your claims are. This video splices together five completely separate audio and visual images — several of them discredited, and all of them edited to deceive viewers. Even then, this fake video doesn’t show what you have claimed. Simply put, the video you described at the debate does not exist, and the video you’re now asking people to watch is not what you claim it is. This fraudulent video is beneath a serious candidate for the presidency, and you should take it down immediately.  

As I have said before, I understand that you sincerely believe abortion should not be legal in the United States. We disagree about this. I believe that abortion should be safe and legal, and that all women should have full access to reproductive health care that can help them lead healthy lives and pursue their goals and dreams. We can have an honest conversation about whether abortion should be safe and legal in this country, but you should not come at it dishonestly, with patently false statements about what Planned Parenthood does.

Finally, I'd like to renew my invitation for you to visit a Planned Parenthood health center, learn more about the full range of services it provides, spend time with the extraordinary doctors, nurses, and clinicians there, and meet some of the women who rely on Planned Parenthood for high-quality health care. The patients you will meet depend on Planned Parenthood health centers as one of their few — sometimes only — sources of affordable, compassionate, high-quality health care. These are the people whose health would be jeopardized if Planned Parenthood were defunded, as you advocate.

Planned Parenthood has approximately 700 health centers around the country that provide birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, abortion services, and other high-quality reproductive health care every day. We’ll keep following up with your staff to try to arrange a time for you to visit a Planned Parenthood health center anywhere in the country.

Dawn Laguens
Executive Vice President
Planned Parenthood Action Fund


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